Several weeks ago, Christina posted an article on the benefits of push notifications through the free app called Boxcar. As stated, Boxcar lets you push all messages from your twitter, Facebook, RSS feeds, and even growl notifications. Push 4 is another app that is on the app store that states the same functionality, but does it work as well for the blind?
About Push 4
Push is another app that lets you push alerts to your phone through the use of push notifications, which is probably the app is called Push. Push supports the pushing of Twitter, Facebook, Email, and RSS Feeds. Push 4 also supports many different APIs for developers to make their apps compatible with Push. Push 4 also supports many different sounds just as Boxcar does. These sounds are different of course.
How does Push work?
When you start the app for the first time, you must first create an online account at the Push 4 website. This is at http://www.4push.com. Once you have created your account, you can use your selected email and password to log in to the app. Once you log in, you can select the services you wish to use. The login process uses standard controls that are compatible with VoiceOver.
Once you log in, you must add your desired services. To do this, tap the button in the lower left of the screen. This button is not VoiceOver compliant. VoiceOver will say, “P2″ instead of settings or whatever the developer intended it to say. On the main screen, you can also see the latest notifications you have received in a table, and you can select the any service by tapping the inboxes button. This screen also contains the compose button which allows the user to write their own notifications on the fly. I am not sure why a user would need this, but it is there.
To add a service, you must first tap the, “P2″ button then select the service you would like to add. Once you have done this, you must use the button at the top to sign in to the desired service. Once this is complete, you may finish filling in the desired settings, like the sound, the type of notification and so on. This all appears to be VoiceOver compliant. Push does also offer a help section here if you have trouble.
While this is a great app, it is still lacking when compared to its rival Boxcar. Boxcar has more services, a more polished interface, and even a better price! Boxcar is a free app, except for the fact that ads are shown on the screen at some points. There is an in-app purchase to remove this however. Push 4 costs $1.99, and then has a $9.99 in app purchase to unlock full notification bandwidth which I am not fully sure what this is. As a user who has tried both these apps, I strongly recommend Boxcar. Nice try Push, but not nice enough for the functionality and price. It is also hard to use Push with VoiceOver due to the settings button which is integral to this apps use.